Alex Albon says Red Bull would have dropped him completely if it didn’t believe he could prove himself worthy of a Formula 1 seat again in future.
Red Bull signed Sergio Perez to replace Albon at the end of last season; the Mexican winning the penultimate round in Bahrain and finishing fourth in the drivers’ championship. Albon’s demotion to test and reserve driver came after he finished seventh in the standings, and although Pierre Gasly returned to AlphaTauri from the senior team, Albon saod the fact he has been handed another role is a source of encouragement for his future.
“Obviously there’s no actual (F1) driving (in 2021), unless something happens,” Albon said. “I’ve got the DTM gig which I’ll do to the best of my ability, and on top of that the team knows what I’m capable of. They would have gotten rid of me – let’s be truthful – if they didn’t believe in me. So on my side I know they still trust me, they still have faith in what I can do and we just have to see how things work out during this year and going into next year.”
Albon believes he will continue to improve as he gains experience, but also acknowledges that it his job to help develop a car that allows him to show more of his potential.
“Firstly, I was slightly down on experience (last year) – that’s one thing I can say,” he said. “It felt like during the year, working with my engineer, we were just getting an understanding of what needed to be done to get the performance out of it. That was just an ongoing process. It felt like things were definitely clicking more and more towards the end of year. Maybe some results weren’t great, but the general path was improvement.
“As I said, I won’t be in the car as much this year, but what I can do is learn. I will be at the track every race, so I can at least understand from an engineering side of it how the team operates on a more in-depth scale, but it was also just about being on top of the car.
“It wasn’t an easy car last year, and part of me knows for a fact that if I could have been more comfortable with it, the performance would have been much stronger. It’s kind of what I’m doing right now, for this RB16B, it is about making the car better. That’s been a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing over the winter.”